Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Another Lennon Biography
I’ve only read two books about the Beatles, but it seems like that number should be much, much higher. Maybe that’s because I’ve soaked up so much information about them over the last 20 years and spent countless hours enjoying their music. My friend C. and I saw the Cirque du Soleil “Love” production in Las Vegas last year, and it was phenomenal. I’d go see it again in a heartbeat, and I loathe Vegas.
So I feel like I should run out and buy the new John Lennon biography by Philip Norman, especially since I have a 40-percent off coupon. It’s getting good reviews, and at 851(!) pages, the book obviously has a lot to say about the late musician. I just have a hard time believing Norman has anything new or revelatory to add to such a well-known story. Then again, that didn’t stop me from reading Bob Spitz’s equally gigantic (and quite good) Beatles biography.
Norman managed to get in-depth interviews with Yoko Ono (who later withdrew her support), Sean Lennon and Paul McCartney, so that gives the book a good measure of credibility. Reviews suggest that the author found the right balance between hagiography and demonization, which is another plus. Everything I’ve read about Lennon suggests that he was a complicated, often deeply unpleasant man who happened to be a gifted artist.
Still — 851 pages?
I’ll probably wind up buying it, if for no other reason that it’s a fascinating story with so many interesting players. The ending, however, is a real shame.